Referencing, GOT and Frozen Lakes


In my Actors In Action classes we talk a lot about “Referencing”. And using it in auditions. What we mean by referencing is creating a 3-D world for the people we are auditioning for. So it’s not just a flat “2-D” experience– i.e., an actor reading lines. If we can open up the space and make it seem like we are really there in the scene, for some reason it makes the audition so much more believable. A GREAT example of referencing in an audition is Dacre Montgomery’s audition for Billy in Stranger Things. (See 2nd video below.) He makes you believe you are really in a car with him, he moves and behaves just like he would on set, which transports us there.

Referencing is a technique that is used ALL THE TIME in movies with green screen scenes. ALL THE TIME. If you watch the clip below from Game of Thrones, you’ll see how important it is for an actor to master this skill. If they can’t pretend they are being attacked by a zombie polar bear, we won’t believe it either, no matter how good the special effects are. Take a look and see some real pros in action here. And then think about how you can bring that kind of believability (without making it over the top or “pantomimey”) into your work. Casting directors will thank you.

GOT: The Making of The Frozen Lake Battle

Dacre Montgomery’s Audition for Stranger Things

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